150 animals seized in Liberty Co. going back to rescue group today

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A judge on Thursday ordered the SPCA to return 150 animals seized during a raid on a Dayton rescue center last week, citing an issue with the search warrant. (KTRK)

Margie Michalsky says after losing her shelter during Hurricane Ike, she opened another 20-acre shelter on a county road in Dayton.

She says she's always had the best of intentions.

"I've had dogs come to me hit by cars, puppies come to me, they've gotten better," said Michalsky. She admits the no-kill shelter has been overwhelmed at times and added, "Puppies grow up, we ran out of space because we had to divide the boys from the girls."

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Her volunteers say she's even told people they are full but they wake up to animals out the front door.

"They're left in the totes, they're left in the sign, crates, she takes them in. We do what we can," volunteer Trisha McCourt said.

Last week, investigators seized 150 dogs, cats and a horse. Liberty County Sheriff's deputies and Houston SPCA said there have been ongoing investigations into Puppy-Dogs-R-Us since 2009 with repeated warnings to correct conditions at the site.

SPCA says since seizing and evaluating the animals, they found many in poor condition.

"We saw some skin issues, parasites, dehydration, fractures," SPCA spokesperson Kerry McKneel said.

On Tuesday, a reversal of the case was declared by a Liberty County judge during a civil hearing due to a technicality on the address listed on the search warrant.

"We were all very distraught and disappointed with the decision," McKneel added.

The dismissal of the case now means all 150 animals must be returned from SPCA to the owners of the property within 24 hours.

"My babies are coming home. My personal babies, my shelter babies are coming home. Yes," Michalsky said of the decision.

Since the seizure the owners say they've been working to clean-up, gather more supplies and improve conditions.

"These are part of our lives, part of our heart, every single animal here. Whether they have four legs, three, missing an eye," McCourt said. "They're a part of our lives."

The sheriff's office says they won't appeal but will continue to monitor the facility. The owners say if there's a silver lining in this it's the donations and volunteers who have come forward and offered to help.

Related Topics:
newsanimal abuseanimal rescueraidSPCADaytonLiberty County
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